How To Garden: There’s No Such Thing as a Green Thumb
Growing a beautiful, successful garden is not some mysterious black art practiced by a sect of followers with dirty fingernails; it is a perfect combination of science and art. Anyone can do it.
It seems that gardening has been a ten-fold increase in recent years, whether you are having your first yard or your 50th. I hope these tips can help you create a lovely landscape.
One of the first lessons to learn is to enjoy yourself. A garden can bring you so much joy. Aside from the colorful blooms, fresh produce, and the sense of satisfaction that comes with growing your own plants, we are naturally drawn to the therapeutic quality of tending the plants that we love.
It does not, however, mean it is all rainbows and butterflies. As with any worthwhile endeavor, there are successes and failures.
It always makes me chuckle when I hear it claimed that someone has a brown thumb. There is no such thing as a brown or green thumb. No matter if you want a few tomatoes along the side of your garage or a lush garden filled with a variety of flowers and vegetables, these ideas will ensure success.
Improve the soil
The soil in a garden made from clay, rock or sand needs to be amended with organic matter such as composted manure or well-aged animal manure. Compost can easily be acquired by the bag or truckload. In my garden, I always add compost to the planting hole when something is planted.
During my untold number of hours talking to first-time gardeners, I advise them to buy a truckload of compost and spread it wherever they want to grow plants. A foot to 18 inches of compost creates a raised bed an instant garden to provide the imaginary green thumb with ease.
The first garden I built involved several years of dumping compost on the ground and digging it into a nasty mix of clay and soil, which eventually provided the plants with the nutrients they needed. It took me three years to do the same for my mother, transforming the worst hardpan I’d ever seen into usable organic garden soil. The next spring, she announced that she would be doing the same for her rhizomatous garden.
Know when to plant what
A gardener who knows his or her plants knows that lettuce, pansies and other cold weather plants thrive in April, but that tomatoes, peppers and impatiens can’t be planted until the threat of frost has passed.
It is hard for me not to sigh in dismay when I see young couples leaving a box store in the spring with flats of plants that will most likely die when the weather gets cold. They think they have an unfortunate brown thumb, but it is not the real reason.
There is no secret to when certain seeds or plants should be planted. No matter what you wish to plant, find out the timing. The information is readily available in many places.
Don’t let your plants dry out
In dry weather, it’s important to water plants. They only need 1 inch of water a week; you can check the weatherman for how much rain has fallen, but it’s a good idea to set up a rain gauge in your garden. You should water plants first thing in the morning because it let’s the foliage dry out and also so that the roots stay moist. You should soak the plants, not sprinkle them.
The mulch enhances soil moisture and also helps prevent weeds. Mulch should not touch the base of a plant and should form a donut-shaped mound, not resemble a volcano.
Buy from a good garden center
There’s an old saying that the best nursery is the closest one. It’s true, but bear in mind that every nursery or garden center represents something special. Visit a bunch during the season so you can get a good feel for all the local nurseries. Nurseries provide quality plants and great advice.
The nursery workers ensure that plants are fed and watered properly in order for them to flourish in your landscape. I believe that the most important thing that nursery workers do is to ensure that plants are fed and watered.
In addition to providing garden information, they’re essential sources of plant information. Even though I have a focus on gardening, I depend on the people working at these local places for advice on plants. Spending time with the plants throughout the day ensures they know which cultivars are best.
Don’t put all your eggs in one basket
Investing in succession planting is extremely important to ensure a successful season. Planting everything at the same time is human nature sometimes, so it’s best to get the job done. The plants will be better able to resist diseases and pests if they are planted slowly over a period of days, weeks or months, depending on the plant.
Whenever everything is planted on the appointed date, we assume that the weather, diseases, and pests will cooperate, but that rarely happens. The seeds of cucumbers should be planted in May 15, 30 and June 15 for a greater chance of success than halfway through the month. I do the same with most of my plants in the garden, and it works.
Right plant, right place
A sun lover should be in the open, while a shade lover undercover. Plants that enjoy moist soil need water, while others benefit from good drainage. It seems obvious, but check the tag on your favorite plant to find out where it will thrive.
No need for chemicals
In the days before World War II, every gardener adopted an organic approach, since we did not have chemical fertilizers, pesticides or insecticides. Any problem in the garden was solved using organic products and methods. When the plants are kept watered and grown in compost, they may be able to repel many pests and diseases.
If something appears discolored, infested or just off, don’t panic. Take the time to diagnose the problem, then figure out what you need to do to get the plant back in shape. On my website, I answer gardening questions to help gardeners figure out what the problem might be. Taking the foliage in a plastic bag to a nursery can also solve the problem.
Just about anything will grow in a container
You can grow just about any plant that grows in a garden in a container if you choose the right size. Secondly, containers require less watering than plants in the garden will. Thirdly, to maintain containers properly, you need to consider their size when choosing the right plant. It is recommended to use large 15-gallon pots for tomatoes, while herb plants can be grown in 5-gallon containers.
The most helpful trick is to moisten the planting mix before placing it in the container. One of the best container planting techniques is the “thriller, filler, spiller” formula, which puts the thriller plants in the middle. Decorative fillers are located on four sides of the container; trailing plants are placed on its edges. Smaller upright plants are arranged around it.
Don’t get overwhelmed
Nursery shopping can be confusing. There are perennials, tubers, annuals, trees, shrubs, vegetables, and bulbs that confuse gardeners. Take your time when you visit a garden center. Look around, figure out what you need, and ask lots of questions.
Grow what you love
Many people ask me what to grow, but plants are chosen for a multitude of reasons. Just an attractive name can be enough to add a plant to the garden. My garden is filled with many varieties that remind me of friends and family, either because they shared plants with me or because they grew plants that reminded me of them.
Flowers can be chosen for their shape, color, texture and even their rarity. Of course, something that is vigorous, beautiful and rare will also catch the eye. The more you know about something, the more you will grow it in the garden and the more you will enjoy it. One more thing, gardening is fun!